I have been doing a lot of research recently into the way we as humans use animals. This was partly spurred on by the Cowspiracy documentary, which makes a compelling case explaining some of the statistics behind the meat and dairy industry’s impact on the environment. I wanted to find out more about some of the practises and choices we make around eating and using animals, so that I could make educated decisions about how I engage with these industries.
The reality of animal testing
One aspect of this research has lead to me to learn a lot more about animal testing. While some testing takes place to try to develop new drugs to save human lives (which is a separate issue), so very much of it is still overwhelmingly used by commercial companies to test non life-saving items like cleaning products and make up on millions of animals. It’s brands your home is probably filled with like Vaseline, Mr. Clean, Dove, Air Wick… the list goes on and on. And it’s many different types of animals: monkeys, dogs, bunnies, rats and more. These animals endure a huge amount of pain, suffering and many die in the process. Given that there are plenty of non-animal testing solutions nowadays which are more effective, it seems truly crazy that these practises still exist.
I was shocked to realise as I went around my flat that a lot of the products I use are tested on animals and I didn’t even know. The fantastic news is that there are now so many everyday brands that don’t test on animals, it’s possible to cut out the ones that do without much effort at all.
Simple ways to avoid brands that test on animals
There are a few simple ways to check whether the products you’re buying have been tested on animals, and find great alternatives that haven’t:
- Download an app like Cruelty Free, which shows you brands that do not use animal testing, or Bunny Free, which lets you search for companies and tells you whether or not they’re cruelty free.
- Check out these regularly updated lists of cruelty-free brands and simply buy your goods from this list.There’s also information here on brands that do test on animals, which you can avoid.
- A great blog for cruelty-free make up and beauty products is Cruelty Free Kitty. Read the article Cruelty Free Revolution which clearly explains in more detail the essence of this blog post, as well as simple and easy steps to take to make a difference on the issue of animal testing.
- Trust the logos: look out for these logos on items you buy. If they’re not on there, check online to make sure the product is not tested on animals before buying.
If you’d also like to see big companies assigning resources and finances to ending animal testing with modern, humane solutions you can sign the Humane Society’s global cruelty free pledge, this petition to ask L’Oreal to stop animal testing, and if you’re in the US, sign this petition to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act. Check out Cruelty Free International for more information.